But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:41
Head spinning and the ringing in my ears getting louder by the second, I jumped out of my chair and sharply reprimanded my 7-year-old.
"I have had enough", I shouted, sharply. This statement was true but it was mommy who needed the reprimand.
Shocked hurt registered on his sweet face as I walked into the master bedroom and slammed the door. Mommy's sensory overload had just turned her into a frantic crazy lady who needed a moment of quiet to sort through the hysteria oozing out from everywhere.
As I laid there on the bed, sucking in deep breaths in an attempt to calm myself, I realized I had gone into sensory overload because I had been burning the candle at both ends for over a month now. There had not been one full day of rest since I had started my new job. I needed some R & R quickly or the burnout pile would become my home again. I have been there before, and I don't want to go back.
But by rest, I don't mean the sleeping kind. Praise the Lord, I have always been a great sleeper. But oftentimes sleep for me means running a thousand miles a minute until I fall into bed so wiped out my body has no other choice but to crash hard for six to eight hours. And by relaxation, I don't mean a massage or vacation. My physical body felt fine on this day. But my mind, heart, and Spirit were a tangled mess.
I needed a whole other kind of R & R to fix this walking around with my hair on fire headed toward burnout state of mind. I needed the R & R that stands for release and refueling.
You see, I had been holding tightly to a few things that are not mine to hold. I had been attempting to control the growth of the message that God gave me to share. I had been striving it forward in my own limited strength. Somehow I had slipped back into the lie that if I hustled harder I could produce more fruit. It was time to release it back to God.
Due to the depletion, I also needed to be refueled by the only source that ever truly fills me up - God's love and approval of me. I had been working to gain approval again, a life-long struggle for me, by accomplishing things. Even though they were Kingdom-building things, I needed to collapse in my fallen state at the feet of my savior and just listen to Him speak truth and love over me.
Jesus had a profound truth for Martha that rings true for all of us modern-day hustlers. Martha was hustling servant style trying to make everything perfect for Jesus' visit. She was working for Him instead of with him. This is a kind of work I know all too well. Mary on the other hand was soaking in His words and His love as she laid all else down to sit at his feet. She had found what was better and so can we.
By releasing our grip on the outcome of whatever it is that God has called us to do, we find a peace that allows us to truly rest. A peace that stills our overactive minds. Then when we are still, we can sit at the feet of Jesus and let Him pour out His love for who we are, not what we have done. We wash over the lies with truths as we bathe in His Word, which refuels our Spirits for the next call to pour out.
Yes, in case you are wondering, I apologized to the golden-haired cherub a little later in the evening when my heart rate was beating normally again. And you know what he did? He wrapped me in his little arms and told me he forgave me because he has nothing to prove and no task list to accomplish. He knows he is just here to love and be loved. I am still learning a lot from him.
Let's Pray: Father, only you are the source of strength. You have called us to do great things in your name, but only in your power. Help us to lay down our striving and come to you for the refreshment that is the love you freely pour out. You have everything we need to accomplish all that you have called us to. It is through our weakness that your strength is magnified. Let us glorify only you. In Jesus' name, Amen.
I feel called to take a 30-day break from posting new devotionals. I need to sit at the feet of Jesus and fill up. I also need to hold loosely to the message that God has called me to share so I can rid myself f my own desired outcomes. For the next 30 days - March 25th through April 25th - I will not be posting but I will be praying for you all that you find rest and refueling in Jesus as well.